“Take Me Out to the Ball Game…”
Okay, we know… with the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series, baseball season is officially behind us for the year. But there’s one place where it’s always baseball season, and that’s Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom!
And what’s a baseball game without a hot dog… or three 😉 ? I know you agree. Let’s head in to the quintessential hot dog joint in Disney World for a bite.
Before you even step in the front doors, you’re “greeted” by a turn-of-the-century baseball player.
Once you enter, the baseball theme really kicks into high gear, down to the Cast Member baseball player costumes (which might be my favorite costumes just about anywhere at Disney World).
Vintage artwork and props (including ads for Coca-Cola) line the walls and top the shelves just about everywhere you look.
The indoor seating does its best to place you outside, giving the impression that you’re at an outdoor ballpark. The scoreboard reflects a score that is much to the chagrin of the citizens of Mudville, thanks to the legendary strikeout of “Casey at the Bat.”
There may be “no joy in Mudville,” since Mighty Casey struck out, but there are plenty of pennants supporting the team, anyway.
Admittedly, though, it feels a lot less “outdoorsy” since the bleacher seating and TV screens showing Disney baseball cartoons were removed to add more traditional tables and chairs.
Yes, Casey’s gets super busy and the tables do a lot to improve the seating situation. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the charm and tradition of those old bleachers.
Stepping outside, tables are topped with cheerful red and white umbrellas.
Aside from hot dogs, Casey’s is also known for providing some downright stellar views of Cinderella Castle. However, while the Magic Kingdom Hub is currently being refurbished (lasting into 2015), you’ll be looking at some green walls. Just pretend you’re at Fenway.
But there’s little in the world that can’t be fixed — or at least greatly improved — by spending some time listening to a little ragtime, courtesy of Jim!
So, we’ve got our dogs, we’ve found our seats, and we’re ready to chow down!
Because I love hot dogs (Seriously. LOVE ‘em.), we ordered every single one on the menu!
Of course, if you do go for a plain dog, there’s still nothing keeping you from some extreme toppings, thanks to the great condiment bar featuring sauerkraut, onions, salsa, jalapeños, good ol’ ketchup and mustard, and YES…. PLASTIC CHEESE!
First up: the Chili-Cheese Dog, topped with chili (naturally!) and a river of “melted cheddar,” which is nothing but a politically correct name for… you got it! Plastic Cheese!
And that’s it! It’s just a classic. The chili adds just a little hint of spice to the salty mix. This thing is a mess in the best way, so just grab a few extra napkins and embrace this bit of Americana.
Next up to bat is the Barbecue Slaw Dog, which has been a staple at Casey’s since Gourmet Hot Dogs started hitting the scene more than a few years ago. So even though I’ve had it, oh, more than a couple of times (both at Casey’s and its other home at Fairfax Fare), I couldn’t resist grabbing one again.
Topped with pulled barbecue pork and a heaping helping of coleslaw, the big question once you receive your order is exactly how to tackle it — it’s just gigantic, and you may be tempted to eat the pork and slaw off the hot dog first, just for the sake of logistics.
But still, try to eat at least a few bites as-is, because this is a great combo. It’s weird, because I’m typically not a fan of mushing all sorts of food together on my plate, but somehow, this has just always worked. The cool tang of the slaw balances the mild spice of the barbecue so nicely. Couple that with the smoky hot dog, along with it’s “snap” for a little variety in the texture, and it’s easy to understand why this gourmet dog has survived since its introduction while others have come and gone.
Our last “dog” isn’t actually a hot dog, but the Polish Sausage, topped with caramelized onions and stone-ground mustard.
I love the slight sweetness of caramelized onions on just about anything, so that’s a clear win, especially when paired with the spices of the sausage. I like the choice of stone-ground mustard, but it carries such a strong, distinct flavor that I found it to be overpowering here. It’s a great choice for the sausage as a condiment, but I think the pour was too generous, and took over the whole thing — at least for me.
Still, for those looking for a little something different at Casey’s, the sausage is a nice option, and I’m sure you could always ask for the mustard on the side (or, if mustard is your thing, then have at it and enjoy!).
Casey’s Corner. It’s practically a Disney World vacation rite of passage. Really, truly, my go-to at Casey’s remains the plain dog, topped just the way I like it at the condiments bar. But we wanted to show you the other options, ‘cuz those sure aren’t bad, either!
My preference of the three is that Barbecue Slaw Dog, but any single one of them can offer a fun change of pace if you’ve visited Casey’s, like, a bajillion times… And no one would blame you for stepping up to the plate time and time again to enjoy this classic Disney World stop.
Is Casey’s Corner a must-stop for you on your Disney World vacation? Please let us know with a comment!